DETROIT, MI — According to General Manager Claude Molinari, Cobo Center increased events booked from 166 to 244 and revenue from $5.5 million to $13.8 million from 2013 to 2018. Revenue is forecasted at $14.25 million for this year. The increase has boosted operations revenue and contributed to a resurgence in vitality for downtown Detroit. Events such as the FIRST Robotics Championship, the NAACP Annual Meeting, SME Rapid, the SAE World Congress Experience and the National Society of Black Engineers (NSBE) Annual Convention will yield a major economic impact this year.
“We’ve got a very strong 2019,” said Molinari. “The facility has undergone a massive renovation and the city of Detroit — especially Midtown and downtown — has been revitalized.”
FIRST, which initially visited Detroit in 2018, is projected to bring 100,000 visitors this year. Another 8,000 are expected to attend the NAACP convention and 15,000 are turning out for NSBE. The NAACP hasn’t held its convention in Detroit since 2007, while the NSBE hasn’t met in the city since 1995.